Savitt: CFPB curtailing bill 'a long time coming'

by Ryan Smith03 Mar 2014
A recently passed bill that would curtail the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been “a long time coming,” said the head of an industry group.

Marc Savitt, president of the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals, said the bill, which passed in the House on Thursday, would be an important step in bringing accountability to the CFPB.

The bill would replace the director of the CFPB with a bipartisan commission, put CFPB employees on a civil service pay scale, and require the agency to receive its funding through the congressional appropriations process. Currently, the CFPB is funded by the Federal Reserve.

“I think it’s a long time coming,” Savitt said. “No person – and this isn’t anything against (CFPB Director) Richard Cordray – but no one person should have that much power with no checks and balances, and that’s exactly what we have here.”

The bill passed the House largely along party lines. It was opposed by most Democrats, who say the CFPB’s current setup is vital to the agency’s political independence. The bill is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, and the White House has already intimated that President Obama would veto the bill if it landed on his desk.

Still, Savitt said, the bill’s passage in the House served a purpose.

“You’re still getting the message out,” he said. “And bills take a long time to get through. What may not be viable now may be viable a couple of years from now.”
 

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